Isaiah 40:31: They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I don’t know if you’ve heard that Amazon.com is now offering same day delivery for Amazon Prime customers in our area. I was excited by this development since it means that Nacho the Cat will not be in danger of starving if I run out of Little Friskies Pate canned cat food before noon. Actually, there’s not much danger of that anyhow since Nacho could live off her body fat for a couple of weeks. Now, we wouldn’t be able to stand her plaintive demands for sustenance, but those aren’t as bad as the Dreadful Claw of Retribution which is visited upon our tender extremities if we don’t comply with her demands immediately.
Of course, I could take my lazy self to the Food Lion a mile away and buy some cat food there, but it’s more thrilling to hear the doorbell ring and know there’s a package for us. Hey, it’s only cat food, but there’s such a thrill to opening any kind of package. If you are of a certain age, and I am and some of you are, I’m sure you remember taping a quarter to an index card and sending it off to Battle Creek Michigan for some tiny oddment with a half-life of about twenty minutes. I experienced such incredible anticipation for the two or three weeks it took for my prize to arrive, and eventually realized that waiting was so much better than the cheap plastic trinket that eventually arrived.
We as contemporary Americans don’t like to wait. We’ll go to any length to avoid lines. We’ll do most anything to shave a few seconds off what we’re doing, which leads to a peculiar phenomenon we’ve noticed that has to do with drive-in windows (which really should be called drive-up windows since you don’t actually drive in to the restaurant or pharmacy unless you have problems telling the accelerator apart from the brake). Whether it be Chik-Fil-A or CVS, people would rather sit in line waiting for their food or prescriptions for ten minutes than park, go in, get their food or medication, pay and drive off in less time that it takes for the last person in line at the drive-in to reach the window.
We grow restless when we don’t have something to do, whether it be read or make lists or play Candy Crush on our smart phones. There’s nothing wrong with these activities with the exception of Candy Crush, which I figured out after a while is a game of chance, and since I don’t gamble, took it off my phone, but there is tremendous value in sitting perfectly still and doing what seems like nothing. The Psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God,” and if we are always doing something, anything, we won’t hear the still small voice.
Achieving such a state of mind is much like other disciplines: it requires commitment, practice and perseverance.
If we are able to stop and wait on God, we can experience the peace that passes understanding and enjoy the tranquil spirit, overflowing joy and unconditional love that God wants us to have. May this be so for each of us.